Cedi Gains With Debt Restructuring Offer

The local currency


THE CEDI appreciated against the dollar, trading at 12.05 from 12.25 at last week’s close as foreign exchange demand eased.

The Bank of Ghana sold only US$9.2 million in the spot market last week, compared to US$40 million at the previous January 30 sale.

According to AZA Finance, a leading provider of cross-border payments, FX and treasury services across Africa and worldwide, in its latest update, Ghana was sweetening its debt swap offer to encourage participation of local pension funds, which would under the latest plan, receive their full interest payments but over a longer time horizon.

It said other bondholders would receive lower interest payments as part of the debt swap adding that country was also expected to convert around GHS40 billion of loans it owed to the central bank into bonds as part of the broader restructuring plan to unlock a US$3 billion IMF bailout.

“As the country continues to advance with its restructuring efforts, we expect the Cedi to appreciate in the near term,” it noted.

Touching on the performance of the Nigerian Naira, it said two weeks before Nigeria’s election, a scarcity of cash and fuel was stoking chaos in the country.

After clashes at empty ATMs and accusations of banks hoarding new Naira bills, the Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended the central bank’s second deadline to end the use of old bank notes. “Meanwhile, Africa’s biggest oil exporting nation continues to struggle with severe petrol shortages, with retailers unwilling accept old Naira notes and to sell at official subsidized rates. “Amidst concern that cash and fuel shortages will prevent the mobilisation and payment of officials by the Electoral Commission of Nigeria, its Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said on Wednesday that polling will go ahead as scheduled on February 25 and that the Commission is working with the national oil company and the central bank to assure supplies,” it reported.